Very interesting. It seems like the meaning we attach to words is pliable, maybe shifts with the context and culture and even attitude of the speaker. You made me think of CBT and how cognitive behavior therapy helps people ‘reconceptualize’ detrimental thinking. When we start to make language gender neutral it changes pre conceived images of, say, a mail carrier, or after enough exposure, a lawyer. (No longer associated w male)
Maybe by exposing misogynistic or racist language we can begin to also defuse its power, take it out of the realm of slur and change the culture. I imagine a time when depression, fear, oppression, would not work because collectively we no longer gave words so much power to hurt, not just others but ourselves?
Your writing is powerful, courageous and thought provoking.